Sports

Nigerian Players Abroad: Tella Scores Brace as Okoye Keep Clean Sheet

Only one player (Nathan Tella) made it to the scoresheet, scoring twice in this week’s piece on Nigerian players abroad.

Nathan Tella grabbed the two goals that earned Bayer Leverkusen a 2-0 victory over Darmstadt on the road. Tella broke the deadlock with assist provided by Alejandro Grimaldo in the 33rd minute – and got the second through Florian Wirtz’s effort in the 52nd minute. Xabi Alonso’s team are now 29 matches unbeaten in all competitions and top the German Bundesliga standings having amassed 52 points in 20 matches.

Maduka Okoye was in between the sticks for Udinese against Raffaele Palladino’s Monza at Bluenergy Stadium in Serie A. Similarly, Gabriele Cioffi subbed off Roberto Pereyra for Kingsley Ehizibue in the 57th minute and Isaac Success did not make it past the bench. Okoye kept a clean sheet, thus the tie finished in a stalemate.

Leon Balogun was available in Rangers’ heart of defence against Livingston in the Scottish Premiership but his presence on the pitch was short after being subbed for John Souttar in the 22nd minute. In the same team, Cyriel Dessers took the place of Fabio Silva in the 76th minute and Samson Lawal was an unused substitute for Livingston. Rangers dispatched opposition in a three nil result at Ibrox Stadium. Fabio Silva (40th minute), Rabbi Matondo (before half-time break) and Todd Cantwell (56th minute) registered the goals for Philippe Clement’s side.

Mark Van Bommel selected Chidera Ejuke in Royal Antwerp’s clash with Club Brugge KV at Bosuilstadion. Ejuke started from the left wing of the attack and was later replaced by compatriot, Victor Udoh in the 85th minute – and they came out victorious in a 2-1 victory. Kobe Corbanie (86th minute) and Jacob Ondrejka (99th minute) scored for Antwerp; while Maxim De Cuyper fired home Ronny Deila’s side goal in the 54th minute. Hans Vanaken was sent off for Club Brugge in the latter stages of the game.

Yusuf Lawal had seven minutes under his belt for Arouca after coming on for David Salgueiro (Jason) in the 83rd minute at Portimonense (Estadio Municipal de Portimao). Lawal had little to do when he came onto the pitch and they ran away with a 2-1 triumph in Portuguese top-flight.

Gift Orban represented Lyon versus Gennaro Gattuso’s Marseille in the French Ligue 1. Orban had no goal contribution and made way for Malick Fofana in the 70th minute. Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette’s goal in the 37th minute secured the maximum points for Pierre Sage’s Lyon at home.

Johan Nkama replaced Renato Steffen in the 78th minute as Lugano travelled to Basel (St. Jakob Park). Nkama had a decent performance upon his introduction and Steffen’s goal before his ouster (in the 69th minute) nicked it for Lugano.

Taiwo Awoniyi led the attack in Nottingham Forest’s colours in their visit to Vitality Stadium against Bournemouth. Awoniyi fired blank and the host were reduced to ten men after Philip Billing was sent off in the 84th minute. The game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes of action. Justin Kluivert put Andoni Iraola’s men in front five minutes into the contest and Callum Hudson-Odoi levelled terms before half-time whistle.

The duo of Kelechi Nwakali and Junior Pius were in action for Chaves as they play host to AC Farense in the Primeira Liga. Nwakali was subbed for Dario Essugo in the 30th minute and Pius played every minute. Chaves finished the game with ten men following Ygor Nogueira’s sending off in the 17th minute and the contest ended one-all. Bruno Duarte netted for Farense after 35 minutes, while Hector Hernandez registered Chaves’ goal through penalty in the 52nd minute.

Imanol Alguacil threw in Umar Sadiq for Andre Silva with three minutes left on the clock as Real Sociedad slugged it out with Girona at Estadio Municipal de Montilivi and the game finished goalless.

Bruno Berner introduced Francis Momoh for Dorian Babunski in the 46th minute as Grasshoppers welcome Winterthur to Letzigrund Stadion in the Swiss Super League. Momoh was on the losing side as they were punished by Sayfallah Ltaief’s finish in the 35th minute.

In the same championship, Samuel Kalu tasted every minute of action for Lausanne versus Young Boys at Stade de la Tuiliere. Kalu failed to score and Ebrima Colley struck for Young Boys in the 8th minute to seal the tie.

Yira Sor started from the left wing of Genk’s attack versus Royale Union SG at Cegeka Arena. Sor couldn’t punish the travellers – and was subbed for Belgian international, Luca Oyen in the 76th minute; while Tolu Arokodare in the same team was introduced for Christopher Bonsu Baah in the 74th minute. Alexander Blessin’s Union SG won 1-0 and it was Mohamed Amoura who netted seven minutes after the hour mark.

Ifeanyi Matthew was involved in Zurich’s game against Yverdon in the Swiss Super League. Matthew exited the game for Armstrong Oko-Flex with four minutes left on the clock. The tie had two red cards with Cheick Conde sent off for Zurich in the 45th minute and Aymen Mahious for Yverdon two minutes after the hour mark. Yverdon recorded a three nil victory at Stade Municipal.

Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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